According to Catford, (1965, p.1)1 “Translation is an
operation performed on languages: a
process of substituting a text in one language for a text in another. Clearly,
then, any theory of translation must draw upon a theory of language – a general
Whereas, according to Newmark (1982, p.7)2 he defines translation as
“a craft consisting in the attempt to replace a written message and/or
statement in one language by the same message and/or statement in another language”.
In his opinion, translating a text should begin with a detailed analysis of a
text, such as the intention of the text and of the translator, its readership,
attitude, to name just a few.
Moreover, André Lefevere (1992, 2004a, p.12)3 sees translation process as
“a rewriting of an original text”.
On the other hand, Petrus Danielus Huetius (cited in (Lefevere, 1992,
2004b, p.1) regarding translation says that it is a
“text written in a well-known language which refers to and represents a text in
a language which is not as well known.” From my own perspective, this is the
most relevant definition of a translation made within the tradition represented
here, because it presents many, if not all of the relevant questions at once.”
Subsequently, Walter Benjamin (1999, p.279) regarding the real
translation adds that “A real translation is transparent; it does not cover the
original, does not block its light, but
allows the pure language, as though reinforced by its own medium, to shine
upon the original all the more fully.
This may be achieved, above all, by a literal rendering of the syntax which
proves words rather than sentences to be the primary element of the translator.
For if the sentence is the wall before the language of the original,
literalness is the arcade.
Based on Saussure’s description of language, Derrida observes that
meaning made by language depends on systematic play of difference.
As regards the cultural effects on translation,
the Canadian translation theorist Sherry Simon
(2006, p.16) says that “Translation
plays great role in communication and manipulates cultural exchange.” In her point
of view, various translations are “maneuvers that represent shifts in cultural
history or which consciously exploit the limit, raising the temperature of
Several forms of cultural
implications for translation are possible ranging from lexical content and
syntax to ideologies and ways of life in a given culture. Cultural aspects and
to what degree it is needed or wanted to translate them into the target
language should be also considered or determined by the translator.
The notion of culture is essential to considering the implications for
translation. Accordingly, Nida (1964, p.130)
regarding both linguistic and cultural differences between the SL and the TL
and concludes that “differences between cultures may cause more severe complications
for the translator than do differences in language structure”. The
cultural implications for translation and lexical concerns have considerable
Relating to this, Bassnett (1991, p. 23)4 states that, “the
translator must tackle the second language text in such a way that the target
language version will correspond to the second language version.
As a result, when translating, it is important to point out not only the
lexical impact on the target language reader, but also the way in which
cultural aspects may be perceived and make translating decisions appropriately.
When translating, culture and language must be considered because of their
close linkage to each other.
Regarding the importance of the translation process in communication,
Newmark (1988, p.96)5 proposes componential
analysis describing it as “the most accurate translation procedure, which
excludes the culture and highlights the message”.
While regarding retranslation Venuti (1995, p.305)6 adds that, “when a text is
retranslated at a latter period in time, it frequently differs from the first
translation because of the changes in the historical and cultural context.”
1 Catford, J. C. (1965)
A Linguistic Theory
of Translation, Oxford:
Oxford University Press.
2 Newmark, P. (1982) Approaches to Translation. Oxford: Pergamon.
3 Lefevere, A. (1992, 2004a). Translation, rewriting and the
manipulation of literary fame. Shanghai: Shanghai Foreign Language Education
4 Bassnett, S. and Lefevere, A. (eds) (1991) Translation, History and
Culture. London and New York: Printer Publishers.
5 Newmark, P. (1988, 2001). A textbook of translation. Shanghai:
Shanghai Foreign Language Education Press.
6 Venuti, L. (1995) The Translator’s Invisibility: A History of
Translation. London and New York: Routledge.